Take the New Type of China-Africa Strategic Partnership to a New High
The fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Beijing from 19 to 20 July. It is yet another major event in the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Africa.
Since its inception in 2000, FOCAC has grown into the premier mechanism for collective dialogue and practical cooperation between China and Africa in the new era. It has enabled China-Africa cooperation to expand in scale and scope and advance to a higher level. In particular, the Beijing Summit and third Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in 2006 marked a milestone in China-Africa relations, as it launched a new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa featuring political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges and mutual learning.
The upcoming Ministerial Conference will be the first of its kind in the second decade of the 21st century. State leaders from China and some African countries will attend the opening ceremony. Ministers of foreign affairs and economic cooperation from China and 50 African countries as well as the chairperson of the African Union Commission will participate in the Conference. Under the theme of "build on past achievements and open up new prospects for the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership", the Conference will take full stock of the implementation of the outcomes of the fourth Ministerial Conference held in Egypt in 2009 and draw the blueprint for China-Africa relations in the coming three years.
The last three years have seen fast growth of China-Africa relations, with rich results in many areas:
The two sides have enhanced political mutual trust. There were more frequent high-level exchanges and a deepening of all levels of exchanges and cooperation across the board. President Hu Jintao and other State and Party leaders of China paid visits to Africa. China's relations with friendly African countries and regional organizations such as the AU enjoyed all-round development. China firmly supported Africa in seeking strength from unity and promoting the integration process. The dedication of the AU Conference Center built by China won the acclaim of the African side and stands as a new symbol of China-Africa friendship. China took an active part in resolving issues affecting peace and security in Africa, and supported African countries in safeguarding national independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as choosing development paths and solving regional issues independently. African countries continued to give firm support to China on issues concerning its core and major interests.
The two sides have enjoyed fruitful practical cooperation. As a fellow developing country, China empathized with African countries hit by the international financial crisis. Despite the many difficulties confronting China, China earnestly implemented all the follow-up actions of the fourth Ministerial Conference, including scaling up assistance, providing concessional loans, canceling debts and tariffs, earmarking special loans for African SMEs, building schools, hospitals and agricultural technology demonstration centers, and sending agricultural experts. In 2011, China-Africa trade reached a record high of US$166.3 billion, and China remained Africa's largest trading partner for the third consecutive year. More than 2,000 Chinese companies were established in Africa with direct investment totaling US$14.7 billion.
The two sides have conducted dynamic people-to-people exchanges. Recent years witnessed increasingly active cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Africa and strong expansion of their cooperation in education, science and technology, health and human resources. A variety of programs were launched, notably the "China-Africa culture in focus", joint research and exchange plan, think tank forum, people's forum and young leaders forum. The two sides jointly established 29 Confucius Institutes or Classrooms in over 20 African countries. Every year, the Chinese government provides more than 5,000 scholarships to African countries and trains over 6,000 African professionals in various fields.
The two sides have carried out closer cooperation in international affairs. China firmly supported a bigger role for African countries in international affairs, advocated a greater representation and say of African countries in the UN and other international institutions, supported the participation of African countries in multilateral affairs such as the G20, and actively supported South Africa in joining the BRICS mechanism. China called upon the international community to pay greater attention to the issue of African development, honor commitments of aid to African countries, help Africa attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and earnestly accommodate Africa's concerns regarding the WTO Doha Round negotiations, reform of the international financial system and sustainable development. China and Africa also conducted in-depth and fruitful cooperation on climate change to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
All these are proof that the establishment and growth of the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership is conducive to bringing out the complementary strengths of China and Africa so that we can achieve common prosperity and progress. It is conducive to focusing international attention on Africa and helping Africa attain the MDGs at an early date. It is conducive to catalyzing South-South cooperation and enhancing the status of developing countries in the international political and economic architecture. It is conducive to promoting democracy in international relations and justice in the international order and to building a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
The world today is experiencing major development, major change and major adjustment. Peace, development and cooperation is a stronger trend than before. Yet new challenges keep emerging. The world economic situation remains complex and challenging. Turbulence persists in some regions. Uneven development continues unabated. Africa has maintained overall peace, stability and development, yet it also faces more uncertainties and factors of instability. People in all African countries desire to achieve enduring peace and stability, accelerate self-generated development, seek strength from unity and promote international cooperation.
China and Africa are good friends, good partners and good brothers. To consolidate and strengthen friendship and cooperation with African countries has always been an important component of China's independent foreign policy of peace. Under the new situation, China will remain committed to working with African countries to advance the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership and make greater contribution to the peace and development of Africa and beyond.
China will remain firmly committed to China-Africa friendship. We will enhance political exchanges and dialogue and share governance experience with African countries. We will intensify cooperation with Africa on issues related to Africa's peace, security and regional integration. We see it as our duty to uphold solidarity and cooperation of developing countries, and will maintain communication and coordination with Africa on major international issues and deepen our mutual understanding and support. Through these efforts, we will carry forward the cause of China-Africa friendship and our mutual trust will grow even stronger in the course of cooperation.
China will remain firmly committed to deepening practical cooperation with Africa. We will seize the opportunities presented by the accelerated development of China and Africa to expand the scope, innovate the ways and enhance the quality of our cooperation. We will bear in mind both current and long-term needs and lay greater emphasis on helping Africa build development capacity when providing assistance. We will advance China-Africa cooperation in a way that contributes to Africa's self-generated and sustainable development and brings about greater benefits to both sides.
China will remain firmly committed to enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges with Africa. Such exchanges will have a more important place in China-Africa relations. We will establish more exchange platforms and flagship programs. We will have more direct exchanges between Chinese and African cultural entities, media organizations, NGOs, and think tanks, thus nurturing a favorable public opinion environment and social foundation for sound and stable China-Africa relations.
China will remain firmly committed to making FOCAC a continued success. In the spirit of innovation and keeping pace with the changing times, we will improve FOCAC institutions, enrich its substance and create more highlights. We will adopt cooperation proposals that meet the call of our time and the need of the two sides, so that FOCAC will continue to be the standard-bearer for China-Africa relations, an effective platform for strengthening our dialogue and communication and an important engine driving practical cooperation between China and Africa.
"Good friends value the promise they make, even if it means traveling a thousand miles to meet." Convened once every three years, the FOCAC Ministerial Conference is a promise between China and Africa. It is friendship that will bring our African friends to Beijing, to join their Chinese brothers and sisters. Now, the stage is set for the fifth Ministerial Conference, and expectation is high on both sides. I believe that, with our joint efforts, the Conference will be a great success, one that will take the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a new level.
(The author is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Honorary Co-Chair of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of FOCAC)
Embassy of China in South Africa
China, Africa poised to embrace a brighter future for economic coopersation and trade
By Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, People’s Republic of China
In Malawi, a landlocked African country, rows of cotton cultivated by local farmers with instruction from Chinese experts are budding; in Ethiopia, a shoe factory built with investment from the China-Africa Development Fund is teeming with local workers; in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a hydropower station financed by credit from China has just been inaugurated.
In the meantime, in China, a country tens of thousands of miles away, African officials and technicians have been invited to Beijing to share China's development experience and advanced technology; in Yiwu, a city in East China, Chinese customers are selecting South African wine at the Exhibition Center for African Products; at the New Port of Tianjin, a cargo ship loaded with fruit and textile products from Benin is preparing for tariff exemption procedures to enter the Chinese market.
These are the encouraging scenes unfolding before us as China fulfills its commitments on economic cooperation and trade announced at the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2009. At the meeting, which was held amid the rampaging financial crisis, the Chinese government announced eight new measures to advance its practical cooperation with Africa, including development assistance, credit and financing, training and trade promotion. This speaks volume of the determination of China and Africa to weather the challenging times hand in hand. Steered by FOCAC and stimulated by these promotion measures, the two sides have withstood the test of the financial crisis. As a result, the trade and economic cooperation has witnessed faster growth across wider areas in more diversified forms, bringing more tangible benefits to the Chinese and African people.
In terms of trade, the total trade volume between China and Africa hit a record high of $166.3 billion in 2011, growing by 83 percent from 2009. China stands as the unchallenged largest trading partner of Africa. On the back of robust trade, Chinese goods, in greater quantity and with better quality, are welcomed by African people; more and more African specialty goods have been made available to Chinese consumers. Resource commodities from Africa have secured a stable market and higher prices.
With respect to investment, China's direct investment in Africa had reached $14.7 billion by the end of 2011, up 60 percent from 2009. While the number of investment projects in energy, mining, construction and manufacturing keeps growing, collaboration on finance, aviation, agriculture and tourism has also boomed. More than 2,000 Chinese companies have invested in Africa. In the process, they have not only helped diversify the African economy, and contributed to local tax revenue and job creation, but also found a promising land for their overseas expansion.
In the area of project contracting, Africa has become China's second largest overseas market. In 2011, the business turnover of Chinese contractors in Africa grew by 28 percent in 2009 to $36.1 billion, accounting for 30 percent of China's total turnover in overseas markets. The inflow of capital, equipment and technology from China has helped cut cost and steadily improve infrastructure in African countries.
In terms of development assistance, China increased its aid to Africa by more than 60 percent from 2009 to 2011. China built a large number of welfare projects, including schools, water supply and clean energy projects, and trained more than 20,000 personnel in various fields for Africa over the three year period. These programs, tailor-made to meet the needs of African countries, focus on enhancing the welfare of the local people. They are promptly implemented without any political strings attached, contributing to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. They are testimony to the friendship between the Chinese and African people.
In the second decade of the 21st century, trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa, while keeping a momentum of robust growth, finds itself standing at a new starting point. Against the backdrop of sluggish world economic recovery and difficulties in reshaping the global economic governance regime, China and Africa face unprecedented challenges in their next step of development. Due to structural imbalances, the complementarity in China-Africa economic cooperation and trade has yet to be realized and much potential left to be further tapped into.
Nevertheless, as developing countries, China and African countries have all managed to keep relatively fast economic growth and enjoyed good prospects. Adequate capital, a strong industrial basis, and sophisticated technologies and equipment of China can be seamlessly matched with Africa's advantages in resources, markets and labor costs. As China and Africa both need to restructure our economies and transform our growth patterns, there is a pressing need and great potential for the two sides to collaborate on industrial relocation. Africa's economic integration initiative creates even more opportunities for cooperation with China on a larger scale and at a higher level. In the reform of the global economic governance system, both sides are committed to the principle of active engagement, cooperation and solidarity. China and Africa are spotting new and greater opportunities in our economic cooperation.
The upcoming Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC will surely usher in a new era of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation. China will adhere to the philosophy and principle of "equality and mutual benefit, cooperation and win-win, and common development", restructure and upgrade bilateral trade and economic cooperation, strengthen the bond and broaden the basis of shared interests with Africa to solve the "growing pains". The two sides will work together to tackle external challenges and inject new vitality to the intensified South-South cooperation.
- Reinvent ways of cooperation to enhance the role of Chinese and African economies in the global value and industrial chain. We will continue to expand investment cooperation with Africa, and migrate to Africa industrial chains with which China enjoys a comparative edge, so as to extend the value-added chain for "Made in Africa" products and create more job opportunities for African people. We will deepen cooperation with Africa on infrastructure development to cover pre- and post-construction stages from planning and design to operation and management. With these efforts, we seek to upgrade our bilateral cooperation in quality and efficiency, turn Africa's potential into development strengths, and share the benefits of the relocation of the global industrial chain.
- Expand scope of cooperation to locate new areas of growth for all-round China-Africa cooperation. We support the two sides to strengthen cooperation on deep resource processing, agricultural development and manufacturing, and explore opportunities for cooperation in finance, commerce, logistics and aviation to create synergy in a wide range of industries. We will actively engage with Africa in its integration initiative by encouraging competent Chinese companies and financial institutions to participate in cross boarder and inter-regional infrastructure projects in Africa, enhance exchange and cooperation between the two sides on regional trade facilitation in Africa, and gradually establish a comprehensive, diversified and multi-layered China-Africa trade and economic cooperation system.
- Focus on improving people's welfare, and support African countries' efforts in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. China will remain committed to deepening South-South cooperation, and continue to provide aid to African countries to the best of our capabilities, with a focus on areas that most affect people's welfare such as the introduction and use of agricultural technologies, healthcare and drinking water. We will also provide more support in such fields as human resources development, vocational training and environmental protection. These efforts are aimed at helping African countries improve their development capabilities and enable African people to benefit more from China's development assistance to Africa.
- Foster a sound environment and facilitate cooperation between more Chinese and African businesses. We will work to see more investment protection agreements and double taxation avoidance agreements signed and have the existing ones well implemented, and enhance cooperation on consular protection. We will promote more experience and knowledge sharing with our African counterparts in areas including development concept, policies, laws and regulations, and industrial park development. We will encourage companies to fulfill their social responsibilities and pay greater attention to environmental protection and project sustainability. The function of the China-Africa Business Conference and the chambers of commerce of both China and African countries will be fully utilized to provide trade and investment promotion services. We will create a fair, transparent, safe and convenient business and investment environment for Chinese and African companies.
- Support African countries' positions and safeguard the common interests of developing countries. We will further strengthen coordination with African countries in promoting the establishment of an open and free global trading system. We support African countries' positions in the Doha Round of negotiations to protect their own interests. We will work together with African countries so that the Doha Round can achieve substantive results in areas of the greatest concern to developing countries, especially least developed countries, and realize early harvest.
Twelve years ago, China and African countries together launched the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which unveiled a brand new page in China-Africa trade and economic cooperation. Today, China will continue working with African countries to consolidate the Forum's achievements, seize development opportunities, identify breakthrough points for mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation, promote the comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation, further substantiate the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership, and contribute to the economic development of both China and African countries as well as global economic recovery.
The author is the minister of commerce of China and the honorary co-chair of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the FOCAC.
Embassy of China in South Africa
China Honors Its Solemn Commitment for Common Development
Li Jinzao, Co-Chairman of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of FOCAC and Vice Minister of Commerce of China, gives an interview to the Beijing Review on the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and trade and economic cooperation between China and Africa.
I. At the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2009, the Chinese government announced eight new measures (the “New Eight”) to support the development of Africa in the coming three years. How do you evaluate the implementation and effects of these measures?
Six measures of the “New Eight” are about economic cooperation and trade under, covering a dozen of areas. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the two sides, these measures have been implemented effectively over the past two years. In terms of development assistance, more than 30 agricultural teams have been dispatched and schools are being built and medical supplies delivered as scheduled. With regard to credit and financing, we have signed agreements on loans of a preferential nature with African countries, offering a credit line of USD 8 billion. In terms of trade promotion, we have extended zero-tariff treatment to 60% of imports from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa with which China has diplomatic relations. It is expected that the implementation of all the promotion measures will be completed by the end of this year as scheduled.
These measures have improved livelihood and development conditions for Africa, enhancing the continent’s capacity for “blood generation”. Take Uganda as an example. The Chinese technical team taught over 3000 locals to raise freshwater fish and process fish feeds. Roads in Uganda are repaired and maintained with concessional loans from China to facilitate the movement of people and goods in the country. Thanks to tariff exemption measures, Uganda’s exports to China grew by 32% and 51% respectively in 2010 and 2011, higher than its overall export growth over the same period.
II. While China-Africa trade is growing rapidly, African countries express their complaint about the quality of Chinese products and their expectation on a greater access to the Chinese market. What is your opinion?
In 2011, China-Africa trade hit USD166.3 billion, a year-on-year growth of 31% or 16 times that in 2000. China’s imports reached USD 93.2 billion, up 39% year-on-year.
Chinese exports are able to meet demands of African consumers from all walks of life with good quality and fair price. Nevertheless, we have noticed that there are a handful of people illegally manufacturing and selling counterfeited and shoddy products, to which the Chinese government attaches great importance. In 2010, the Ministry of Commerce and other eight agencies of the Chinese government conducted a “Special Campaign against Exporting Counterfeits and IPR Infringing Goods to Africa”. As the next step, we will continue to work with Africa to phase in a joint action mechanism combining short-term campaigns with permanent governance to protect the market from cheap shoddy fakes.
While selling goods with better quality to Africa, China has adopted a series of measures to buy more from Africa such as exempting duty and building African Commodities Exhibition and Distribution Centers. For example, over 20 African business owners have registered and sold African specialties in the Yiwu African Commodities Distribution Center since it opened in 2011. We will continue to extend duty free treatment to cover more products, strengthen cooperation in areas such as customs clearance and quality inspection and quarantine, and promote balanced and sound development of China-Africa trade.
III. What are the features of China-Africa investment cooperation? Some say that Chinese investors come to Africa for resources. What’s your view on this?
Rapid growth of investment cooperation reflects complementarity between China and Africa in resources, markets and industrial structure. It shows that cooperation brings mutual benefits and win-win results to economic growth. This cooperation has the following features. First, it grows fast. The value of China’s direct investment in Africa increased by 40 times to USD2.1 billion from 2001 to 2010. Second, it flows into many countries. Chinese investment goes to all African countries. Investments of over 2,000 Chinese companies flow into 50 African countries ranging from resource-rich countries like Angola to resource-poor ones like Mali. Third, it covers a wide range of sectors. Only 25% of Chinese investment in Africa goes to energy and mining sector while the remaining 75% goes to sectors such as finance, processing and manufacturing, construction, business services, agriculture and transportation, etc. Fourth, it involves diverse players. Aside from state-owned enterprises, private sector is becoming a new force for investment in Africa. In some African countries, over 50% of Chinese investors are private companies.
It is worth mentioning that when they invest in Africa, Chinese companies always observe international practices and market rules and participate in international competition and cooperation in a normal way. China-Africa investment cooperation is comprehensive and diverse, not limited to certain countries or specific sectors. The Chinese government has established effective platforms for Chinese companies to invest in Africa such as the China-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Zones. In the years to come, we will continue to encourage and guide Chinese companies to expand their presence in deep processing of resources and other manufacturing industries, create more jobs for local people, engage in the development of local communities, pay attention to environment protection and integrate with local economy and society to achieve common sustainable development.
IV. China’s per capita GDP still ranks around 100th in the world, what is the reason for China to have been expanding the scale of its aid to Africa in recent years?
China has provided some economic assistance to African countries for projects related to people’s livelihood, human resource training and supply of goods and materials. The above-mentioned assistance was made to the best of China’s capabilities and represented a rather small share of its GDP, which was well affordable for a developing country.
Development assistance is an important way for countries to give mutual support and achieve common development. It includes assistance of developed countries to developing countries and mutual assistance between developing countries. China’s aggregate economy jumped to No. 2 in the world from relatively backward conditions, and this achievement is inseparable from the support and help of many countries including African ones. In the wake of the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, some African countries which don’t have much financial resources generously offered their assistance to China. Therefore, we will lend a helping hand to Africa within our capacity when we realize our own development. This manifests the traditional China-Africa friendship and the international morality and responsibilities and also contributes to a good environment for global development.
V. The fifth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will soon be held. How do you view the future of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation? Has China developed new ideas and measures to support Africa’s development?
At present, China-Africa trade and economic relations have embarked on a new development phase, which calls for better-quality and higher-level cooperation that meets our respective development needs. We aim to maintain the scale and speed of our cooperation, expand cooperation into more areas, and avoid short-sighted actions and make good long-term plans for a mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation as well as common development.
To this end, we will continue taking strong measures to support Africa’s development. Specifically, we will continue our assistance to African countries with a focus on helping them improve people’s welfare; we will expand two-way investment and financing cooperation, and encourage and support Chinese companies to invest in African manufacturing and services sectors in a bid to improve African countries’ capability of independent development; and we will explore various cooperation approaches and financing instruments to support African countries in improving infrastructure conditions, and contribute to Africa’s regional integration process.
Embassy of China in South Africa
China - In Celebration of the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference
Address by H.E. Ambassador Tian Xuejun
At the Open Day Event
In Celebration of the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference
Hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
In the Republic of South Africa
(Pretoria, 3 July 2012)
Welcome to the Chinese Embassy and welcome to the Open Day Event in celebration of the Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference. First of all, I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to every one of you for your long-term commitment and contribution to China-South Africa and China-Africa cooperation.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. It is also an important year of development for the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. The Fifth FOCAC Ministerial Conference will be held from 19 to 20 July in Beijing, the first of its kind in the second decade of the 21st century. This conference will review the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Fourth Ministerial Conference, and draw the blueprint of China-Africa cooperation for the next three years. Or to say, this conference is to review the past and look into the future.
While we all know what FOCAC stands for, here, I wish to provide another interpretation of these five letters, and share with you my observations of China-Africa relations.
The first, “F” for friendship.
As a Chinese poem goes, “mutual understanding knows no distance, we can be close at heart even thousands of miles apart.” Geographical distance has never stood in the way of China-Africa friendship. As early as in the 2nd Century B.C., China and Africa have already started to know each other. In the 15th Century, Chinese navigator Zheng He’s fleet visited the eastern coast of African continent several times, bringing the unique Chinese culture and the friendliness of the Chinese people to Africa. Many African countries also used to send envoys to China. These stories are all legacies of our friendship.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Africa has rendered the new China generous and crucial support on such major issues as the restoration of the legitimate seat in the United Nations, the entry into the WTO, and the bids for the Beijing Olympics Games and the Shanghai World Expo. China has also firmly stood by the African people in their just fight against capitalism and colonialism for national independence. We offered African people moral and material support and contributed to their victory towards national liberation and independence. We have shared weal and woe together, and we are indeed good friends, good brothers and good partners.
The second, “O” for opportunity.
Africa has hardworking people, rich natural resources, huge markets and great potentials for future development. In recent years, African countries, including South Africa, are working vigorously to promote infrastructure construction, boost agriculture and manufacturing, facilitate industrialization and regional integrity, and push for a new round of fast growth of the continent. The international community is recognizing more opportunities in Africa, which is now rising as the Future Star. Like Africa, China is also at a crucial stage of social and economic transformation. We share increasing complementarities in economic and trade structure. Therefore, China and Africa are facing rare opportunities for future development.
The third, “C” for cooperation.
China-Africa cooperation has been growing over the past 5 decades. The level of cooperation has been elevated and the areas expanded constantly. When China established diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1956, the total trade volume between China and Africa was only US$12 million, and the figure exceeded US$10 billion for the first time in 2000. However, after the establishment of FOCAC, China-Africa trade has been skyrocketing by an annual growth rate of 30%. In 2011, China-Africa trade reached US$166.3 billion, making China Africa’s largest trading partner. In addition, exchanges and cooperation in other areas such as economy, science and technology, culture, education and people-to-people arena are developing in an all-round way under the FOCAC framework.
The fourth, “A” for agreement.
China is the world’s largest developing country and Africa is home to the largest numbers of developing countries. As a result, we share extensive and common interests and broad agreement on many issues, ranging from our own development to peace and development of the whole world. From the 1955 Bandung Conference when Chinese and African leaders shook hands for the first time, to the establishment of the “new type of strategic partnership” during the 2006 FOCAC Conference, China-Africa friendship and cooperation have stood the test of time of more than 50 years. In recent years, we are witnessing more frequent high-level exchanges and enhanced political mutual trust between China and Africa. We cooperate closely with each other on international and regional issues and we render each other coordination and understanding on issues concerning our core and major interests. By working together, China and Africa have been upholding and expanding the common interests of developing countries as a whole.
The final, “C” for common development.
People in China and Africa have all suffered from the invasion of colonialism. Independence, freedom and democracy were the common pursuit of our people during those dark years of humiliation. After its establishment in 1949, the People’s Republic of China has been following closely Africa’ endeavor for independence, peace and development. We have done our utmost to offer genuine assistance to Africa, supporting major African projects including the establishment of the African Union and the implementation of NEPAD. As now the world is experiencing profound and complicated changes and the impact of the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis is still crunching, people’s well-being, stability and development have become the shared tasks of both Africa and China, once again linking the two peoples closely together.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we are approaching cold winter in Pretoria, Beijing is receiving the hot summer. Despite the differences in climate, language and national conditions, we in China and Africa share extensive and profound consensus in promoting cooperation and pursuing common development. I believe the Chinese people now are ready to welcome and receive friends from the African continent with all their passion and sincerity.
And for our Embassy, we are hosting this Open Day Event to showcase the development of China-Africa cooperation. We hope the statistics, stories and pictures that we are sharing with you will provide you a better understanding of China, and of the past, present and future of China-Africa relations. And by working together, we can push the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa to a higher level.